Grammys Get Overhaul

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow announced April 6 the Grammys are getting an overhaul.

While no musical genres will be excluded form Grammy contention, there will be fewer categories, leaving artists to compete in a bigger playing field.

The number of categories has been reduced by more than 30 – in itself the biggest overhaul in the 53 years of Grammy history.

This includes the elimination of male and female vocal categories in fields like pop, R&B and country. That is already the case in the field of rock.

“A great singer is a great singer is a great singer, and somebody that has a gift in terms of their voice, and is at the top of their game in terms of their delivery and emotion, really isn’t necessarily defined by gender,” Portnow said.

The changes appear to be more difficult for artists in lesser-known and less mainstream categories. Tia Carrere, the current holder of the best Hawaiian music album title, would now be lumped in with the new best regional roots music album category.

Other changes require each category to have at least 40 entries instead of 25.

The number of categories have been reduced from 109 to 78. Awards will no longer be given in categories such as rap performance by a duo or group; children’s spoken-word album, Zydeco or Cajun music album and best classical crossover album.